Out of hospital

Wm Chesley Morris with cat

Wm Chesley Morris with cat

Mom was sprung from the hospital on Thursday. With the help of her new caregiver, Carmen, we loaded her up in the Buick and brought her home. The living room has been transformed into a mini-hospital room, but it’s light and she can see her birdfeeders out the back window and be in the thick of things. And she can see her cat, although he has been a bit stand-offish – probably due to the new furniture arrangements and all the commotion.

Carmen is her 24/7 “live-in” caregiver. I’m not sure if she will stay full-time or will be relieved at some point by another person – I’ll leave that to the agency we are working through. It’s a bit odd to be in the house with a total stranger taking care of your mom, but Carmen seems very capable and perfectly at ease. I was worried about her ability to move Mom around, but was relieved today to learn that she had used the lift to get Mom out of the bed and to the toilet and back. It’s just impossible without a lift or at least two people since Mom’s right side is paralyzed and she’s really not able to help much, so it’s pretty much just dead weight. If Carmen can get used to the lift, then I’ll feel much better.

In addition to the home care agency that is providing 24/7 care, Mom is receiving hospice services. It’s not so much that she has a terminal illness, but she is 90, had a massive stroke, has blood pressure problems, arrhythmia, etc., so she qualifies for hospice services – which are amazing in my book. John and I kept saying, “what’s the catch?” They brought in the hospital bed, wheelchair, lift, shower chair, potty, and walker – plus they provide wipes, bed pads, gloves, pull-ups, etc. The only thing we really had to buy were sheets for the bed. A personal care attendant comes three times per week, a nurse comes once a week or as needed, and a doctor comes once per month, so we don’t have to take Mom to the doctor. They also manage all of her prescriptions (Crawford Drugstore here in town is amazing – they will deliver her meds and send me a bill at the end of the month). And the hospice folks are all so darn nice. 

John was here all week, thank goodness. I’m not sure I could have gotten through the week without him. He left today. He’s been such a trooper! We hit several of our favorite restaurants while he was here, and we met the Stokers for dinner, too. It was nice to get out of “hospital mode” for a few hours.

I have to say that my head is pretty much exploding. I have decision fatigue, worry constantly, and am not exercising. That said, I think we are doing the right thing for Mom and very soon I’ll be able to go home and go back to work. I’ve had such great support from my office, so that’s one thing I haven’t had to worry about – they just keep saying, “do whatever you need.” I’m so very fortunate in so many ways, despite the current circumstances!

I’d have to look at a family tree, but I think the man in the photo above is Mom’s grandfather. I just wanted to show that cat lovers run in the family!


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